How to Replace the Clasp on a Leather Dog Leash

Introduction: How to Replace the Clasp on a Leather Dog Leash

About: I love to tinker with just about anything but some favorites are woodworking and other crafty things. I also enjoy repurposing otherwise useless things like old electronics and old tools and trying to see w...

The thumb grip of the clasp on my leather dog leash broke the other day, rendering the clasp next to useless. This leash wasn't cheap, and replacing the clasp is an easy task with the right tools.


  • New clasp fitting the leash
  • Copper rivets with matching burrs (tight-fitting washers). Ensure the rivets are long enough to grip through the two layers of leather.


  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Rivet setting tool
  • Ball-peen hammer

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Step 1: Remove the Old Rivets and Clasp

Using a pliers and wire cutters, remove the old rivets holding the clasp on. It may be possible to drill the rivets out instead of cutting/prying them out like I had to. I tried this, but the rivets just spun with the drill. You can also skip this step entirely and just cut the end off the leash, but that necessitates re-punching holes for the new rivets later on.

In any case, the rivets should come out easy enough, and then the old clasp will just slide off the leash.

Step 2: Add the New Clasp and Set the Rivets

Slip the new clasp in the loop and align the holes. Insert one of the rivets through the matching holes and place one of the burrs on it. Using the rivet setter and a hammer, drive the burr onto the rivet, which will now be friction-fit and will not slip off. Repeat the steps and add the second rivet.

Step 3: Clip the Rivets and Peen

Using the wire cutters, cut the portion of the rivet that sticks out as close to the burr as possible. You don't need much rivet material left in order to properly peen them over, and having too much results in a poorly-peened rivet.

Using the ball side of the ball-peen hammer, tap the rivet repeatedly, allowing it to mushroom over the burr. You're looking to create a nice dome on the rivet. When you're satisfied with the peening, switch to the flat side of the hammer to smooth the peen out.

Step 4: Finished!

Give the clasp a good tug to check that everything is attached properly. After all, you don't want the clasp to pop off when you take your dog out!

You've successfully saved your nice leather leash from becoming trash!

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